Nicky Hayden will be back on Repsol Honda

Nicky Hayden will be back on Repsol Honda for the first time since 2008 as he substitutes for injured Dani Pedrosa in Australia.

“I'm a real racing junkie and I couldn't say no to this opportunity,” was how Nicky Hayden summed up his return to the Repsol Honda squad ahead of this weekend's Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Having replaced Jack Miller at Aragon last month the 2006 World Champion has been called into action to replace Dani Pedrosa following the Spaniard's collarbone fracture at Motegi.

“It's crazy how things and life can work out at times,” said Hayden. “Luckily I got a really nice opportunity like this and there was no way that I could say no to it! I'm a bit of a softie and when you're called with an opportunity to ride a factory bike, particularly at a circuit like Phillip Island, it's something special for any rider. For me it was impossible to say no and you just drop everything and try and find flights and a way to make it happen!”

With Pedrosa having crashed on Friday morning, Hayden initially received the call while on WorldSBK duty at Jerez. The Honda World Superbike rider admitted that it made focusing on the job at hand more of a challenge last weekend but having finished fourth in both races at the Gaerne Spanish Round, he will travel to Australia in high spirits and in good form.

“It all happened so fast but obviously with Dani getting hurt I wish him the best in his recovery. I know Dani and he's come back many times from these types of injuries and setbacks and I know that he'll do it again. For me when the opportunity came up over the weekend in Jerez I had to stay focused and not think about this. But during the post race test on Monday it did start to cross my mind a few times and I really needed to get locked in and stay focused on the job at hand.”

While Hayden can now relax ahead of opening practice on Friday he acknowledged that without the support of his WorldSBK team and the blessing of various sponsors, this opportunity would not have been able to come to fruition.

“A lot of people made this possible for me because when something like this happens there's a lot of details to sort out. There are the contracts and other details to be worked out. Even getting the Australian work visa was a real challenge because the embassy doesn't open until Monday! But I really want to thank the Ten Kate team again for giving me their support to do this. They're all racers and a great team to work with so to have their support means a lot to me. Also for all the conflicting sponsors that are allowing me to do something like this is fantastic. It's all come together now and I've gotten a last minute flight so I'm on my way to Australia!”

Salam Kopi Sidikalang


Salam Kopi Sidikalang


Salam Kopi Sidikalang